View Full Version : Modeler 7.5c's Hidden Tools : Revealed!

05-15-2003, 08:03 PM
(Sounds like a FOX-TV special, no?)

In the past couple of years of doing seminars around the world, there's been one section of the training I wish I didn't have to do - showing people all the hidden tools in Modeler.

Hidden where? In plain sight - that's the problem. See, if you go to Construct>Utility>Additional, there's a whole bunch of tools that never got put on a menu. I'm sure a number of you here may have found them, but the fact is - many people haven't.

So, cool tools like Magic Bevel, Logo, and Multi Text have been unused. And that's too bad - because they are good tools, and the exact people who would find them the most useful (such as new or casual users) are exactly the people who would almost never find them on their own or even know how to edit the menus.

Not to mention, there are two Paste tools in Modeler that work differently - but are both called Paste. Plus, plus - a lot of people have trouble learning Modeler because some tools aren't grouped together in a way that's consistent with workflow.

So, I did something about it. I made a Modeler Menu that fixes some of these glaring interface problems. I've been using it in seminars for months, and people have asked me for a copy - I wanted to wait until 7.5c came out to see if it addressed these problems. Unforunately, it doesn't - so here you go...

Here's the link to a page that explains in detail and gives you the link for the download. Enjoy and please send feedback...


05-15-2003, 10:30 PM
Thanks Lee. I looked it over and it looks pretty good to me. I'll have to see next time I'm working in modeler how I like it.

05-15-2003, 11:30 PM
Cool, please do let me know...

Larry and / or I may try to knock out a tutorial or two that use the thing...

I think the 'Task Menus' are a good thing - I should be able to do a tutorial where you stay entirely on one menu...

05-16-2003, 03:18 AM
I like the new menus. Ever use Spikey? It makes some pretty cool things.

05-16-2003, 04:13 AM
Bl**dy Hell Lee!
Where has Precise Paste been all my life ;)
Thanks a million guy, this is definitely gong to be the base for all my menu configs in future! :cool:

05-16-2003, 06:41 AM

Wiz - where is Spikey? I can't find it...

I'm sure there are a couple of tools on Additional that I didn't move to buttons - any suggestions there are really welcome.

05-16-2003, 08:02 AM
Looks good, but it's crowded: three more tabs, and a whole lot of buttons on the Create, Modify, and Map tabs. On a 1280 x 960 display, I get the dreaded More buttons unless Modeler is maximized.

The only specific suggestion I have is to shorten some of the labels:

"Text + Logos" - "Logos"
"Subdivide + Flow" - "Subdivide"
"Text Creation" - "Text"
"Object Creation" - "Objects"

The overall impression I get is one of information overload, like I'm seeing Modeler again for the first time. I can only imagine what would result from a merge of Modeler and Layout.

05-16-2003, 09:15 AM
Good suggestions overall - I think less is more...

The overriding design principle I'm going by is that you should put the options out in clear view of the user. In a sense, this can get overwhelming - but I think it's better (for learning, especially) than hiding everything. The main idea behind the Task Tabs is that they simplify things by putting the tools you need in one place...

The only suggestion I disagree with is 'Subdivide / Flow' - I threw that Flow in there to put the concept of 'flow' into people's head. Basically, it's not something that occurs to most people.

Also, in my experience very few people understand the relationship between Spin Quads and Bandsaw / Bandglue. This is partially due to lack of training materials that ship with LightWave, but it's also due in part to those tools being in two totally different places in the menu system that NewTek continues to ship with LightWave.

In other words - because Spin Quads is on one menu, and Bandsaw on another, there's really no way to tell how they relate to one another by just looking at the interface. They are just two buttons. This isn't to say the organizational system that put them there is bad - it's one way to organize things. The Organic tab is another.

So, part of the design on the interface is to give the user hints. that 'Flow' is hint.

Not saying I'm right...just laying out my thought process.

05-16-2003, 10:17 AM
Hi Lee,

You've spent a fair bit of time putting together many tools that are usually missed.

Have you put aside any time to burn those training cds you promised us as part of the Lightwave World Wide Training Tour in Bath, UK?


05-16-2003, 11:19 AM
Sure have...

Discs have started shipping. People from the Europe seminars will actually be getting two discs, because I'm including the discs from the last tour as well. So that's about 15+ hours of training stuff.

There was someone over there in Europe who offered to dupe discs, but I need to find their name / address. I mention this in case they read it.

Getting people the CDs has been the biggest nightmare of the whole tour experience, for me and everyone else. I don't have a staff or employees, so (to quote Elvis) I feel like a juggler running out of hands sometimes.

This current tour, everyone is getting their materials the day of the event, period the end. We've done about 8 seminars so far in the past few weeks, and we're 100%. I wanted to make sure this happened, in part, because I didn't want to get further behind.

05-16-2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by Stranahan

Wiz - where is Spikey? I can't find it...

Using your menus it is


it is under seashell and is greyed out until you plop some type of geometry down. I used a single poly and got these below. Just imagine what you could do with this nifty little tools.


What is Tejas? Is that some new state that I'm not aware of?

05-16-2003, 05:23 PM
I've mapped all those tools to relevant areas of my main menus. Take a look at my tuts (see link below) becuase I go over most of the tools in the Additional section.

Spikey is good for creating triangles and capping an 8 sided disk. I go over that as well.

05-19-2003, 07:05 AM
Thanks Lee. I look forward to receiving my copies.